When we last encountered Ronnie, Adele and Edgar, they were ensconced in their felicitous world of disturbed object relations.

Edgar started dating Adele when Ronnie was 11 years old.  Edgar’s relations with Ronnie were hostile and aversive from the outset.  Edgar relentlessly devalued Ronnie in his sister’s eyes.

It is well to consider the fact that Edgar was an only child.  He never learned to deal with competition with siblings — that is, competition for his mother’s love.  In his possessive relationship with Adele — (Adele once remarked how Edgar always seemed uncomfortable when she was with her friends) — Edgar had to compete (at least, in his imagination) with a rival in relation to a love object.  In a sense, Ronnie and Adele constituted an Oedipal universe for Edgar.  Perhaps, Edgar perceived Ronnie as a derivative of the Oedipal Father.

Be that as it may.

The psychodynamics of anti-Semitism has been interpreted  as reflecting Oedipal dynamics.


The Jew represents the Oedipal father image, in which the psychic function of the Jew is to enable both a distancing of the Oedipal conflict as well as a lingering in the narcissistic dimension. Here, the psychodynamic goal is to “fill a deep narcissistic fissure within the subject and between the subject and the outside world” (Pohl 2006, 62). It is an avoidance of the real Oedipal conflict, resulting in a pregenital regression and an escape into the narcissistic universe as the site of the mother archetype, and the yearning for intrauterine perfection and the “prenatal elevated-elevating condition” (Grunberger 1982, 44). The antisemite stands between two worlds: that of illusion and Narcissus, and that of reality and Oedipus. For the antisemite, the Jew appears here as “the mighty and as the castrated father”: The Jews are utilized for the abreaction of an unresolved and therefore “eternal” ambivalence towards the father. In accordance with this inner schism, he splits the introjected primal father figure into two halves: the aggressivity towards the evil, punishing father is directed towards the imago of the Jews to undergo an abreaction there, while positive feelings remain towards the beloved father figure, meaning God, the Fatherland, the ideal (Grunberger 1962, 268).

This also makes clear on an individual psychological level what Ostow (1996, 80, 85) described within Christianity’s apocalyptic imagery, in which can be seen a mythical division of the world juxtaposing “elements of danger or destruction with elements of achievement or victory,” combining “death fantasies” with “rebirth fantasies,” always in connection to messianic elements and the hope of an end to the current, negatively seen era. According to Ostow, the antisemitic worldview is therefore marked by a distinctly identifiable moralization. Sartre described this worldview as a dualism with an extreme polarization that largely excludes any kind of reality check, which itself relates to Arendt’s idea emphasizing the totality of antisemitism and the concomitant hermetic self-containment of this worldview. 


So we see that from both a Freudian (Oedipal) and Kleinian (pre-Oedipal) perspective, my interpersonal dynamics can be compared to the dynamics of anti-Semitism.  That’s a powerful idea !!  I wonder what a group theorist would say about these matters, and what light this discussion sheds on my difficulties in groups.  Also, what is the relationship between my own Oedipal issues and the fact that I have these difficulties in groups time and again.